Urethral recurrence after radical radiotherapy for bladder cancer.
Cresswell J., Roberts JT., Neal DE.
PURPOSE: Following cystectomy for bladder cancer, orthotopic reconstruction may result in a decreased risk of urethral recurrence compared to cutaneous diversion. We evaluate the rate of urethral recurrence after radical external beam radiotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the records of 214 men who had received radical radiotherapy at a single center from 1990 to 1995. Patients treated with chemotherapy were excluded from study. RESULTS: A total of 214 men (median age 69 years, range 39 to 86) underwent radical radiotherapy for cure. Tumor stages were T1 in 7%, T2 in 41%, T3 in 42% and T4a in 10% of the patients. Median followup was 32 months (range 1 month to 8.4 years) and 5-year survival rate was 30%. Urethral recurrence developed in 7 (3.2%) cases and was detected within 18 months (median 10 months, range 3 months to 5 years) of followup in 5. In 2 of these 7 cases recurrence developed in the prostatic urethra, and when these 2 cases were excluded from analysis the recurrence rate decreased to 2.3%. A total of 64 men completed 5-year followup, with a 4.7% rate of urethral recurrence (3.1% excluding prostatic urethral recurrence). Multifocal disease, bladder neck involvement, prostatic disease and cis were possible risk factors for urethral recurrence. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of urethral recurrence after radical radiotherapy for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder is comparable with that reported after orthotopic reconstruction. It is not possible to exclude completely that men at higher risk were offered cystectomy, but the data are consistent with the suggestion that continued contact with urine may be protective.